News of Note

U.S. touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing animals that become meat
On Myplate, the federal food diagram published in June to show Americans a healthful diet, half of the plate contains fruits and vegetables, while roughly a third is made up of grains and about a fifth is reserved for “protein”: meat, eggs, beans and nuts. A separate, smaller circle is designated “dairy.”..The food plate looks healthful enough, but federal incentives to farmers reflect an entirely different agenda. In large part, the government pays farmers who grow food for animals that become meat.

Meat Supply’s ‘Precipitous’ Drop to Spur Prices to Records, Rabobank Says
U.S. meat and poultry production may drop as much as 5 percent next year, sending beef and pork prices to a record amid climbing feed costs and shrinking herds, according to Rabobank International.  Producers are curbing output as tighter feed supplies boost costs, which will lead to a “precipitous fall” in available meat in 2012, David Nelson, a global strategist at Rabobank, said in a report. The drop is compounded by a drought that is forcing ranchers in the Southwest to cull herds and by surging demand for U.S. beef in developing countries, he said.

Threats prevent Arkansas turkey drop
A traditional Arkansas turkey drop was aborted this year following threats from an animal rights group and the Federal Aviation Administration, observers said.  The traditional turkey dropping was torpedoed this year when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ponied up a $5,000 bounty for the arrest and conviction of anyone who dropped a turkey from the skies.  The pilot also had the feds on his tail in the form of a threat from an FAA official threatening to pull his license if any one of their team, present at the festival, witnessed any turkeys dropping, the newspaper said.

Felony animal cruelty law goes into effect Saturday in Nevada
Saturday, “Cooney’s Law” goes into effect, making such extreme animal cruelty or torture a felony in Nevada.  Holly Natwora, shelter manager for the SPCA of Northern Nevada, said the law also helps protect humans. She noted that social service workers and criminal behavior specialists testified in the Legislature about the link between animal abuse and violence against people.

In the crosshairs: Animal rights activists target Perry
Wild burro advocates have joined the primary season attacks on Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, pressuring the Texas governor to take a look at his state’s wildlife protection policies.

STOP UBC Animal Research influences similar campaigns across Canada
STOP UBC Animal Research (STOP), an animal rights group that started at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, has begun working with other groups with similar goals at institutions across Canada.  For the past year, STOP has been very successful in bringing attention to animal experimentation at UBC, receiving coverage from both local and national media, as well as public responses from UBC President Stephen Toope. Their campaigns resulted in UBC sparing the lives of seven endangered sea turtles and four rhesus monkeys, all of which were slated for death.


FBI investigates vandalism of Tiburon salmon pens
Federal and local authorities are investigating vandalism at an environmental studies center that led to the release tens of thousands of baby Chinook salmon from holding pens, a practice animal rights activists have criticized as inhumane.  On Saturday, for the second time in a week, someone cut the pens’ netting, releasing 20,000 juvenile salmon called smolts nearly a month ahead of schedule.

Animal rights protesters block ODFW building
About a dozen protesters tried to lock out employees and the public Tuesday at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, with most of the demonstrators arriving just as the building was opening at 8 a.m.